Introduction to the Economic History of China

Introduction to the Economic History of China

Introduction to the Economic History of China

Introduction to the Economic History of China

Excerpt

The following pages provide an extensive introduction to the study of the Economic History of China, together with a carefully selected bibliography of some 800 books and articles. The text is intended to define, in the first place, the nature and importance of the subject, and to furnish a general guide to its further exploration in future.

Elaborate cross-references and footnotes have been entirely avoided in the text, where full annotation would seriously encumber the reader; bibliographical notes are given by chapters at the end. An adequate subject index is also provided at the end of the book.

The bibliography includes some critical comments, indicating the nature and relative value of different works. While being comprehensive, it is necessarily selective, in the sense of emphasising works which the author has found most helpful from the particular point of view of this study, and those which deserve to be better known to the English-reading public.

This is the first work of its kind. There does not exist, in English or any other European language, any single or satisfactory work specifically on the Economic History of China. There are, of course, numerous monographs dealing with one aspect or one period in the Economic History of China, but practically no work which represents a single or integral treatment of this essential theme. We have, in fair number and varying degrees of adequacy, general, social, cultural and other histories of China, which must necessarily bear on the economic field, and make some incidental contributions to it; but there is none which is specifically and analytically economic, in intention or effect.

This statement is a generalisation, which will be more critically examined below; but it will be widely acceptable as a starting point in this discussion. The lack of such a concretely . . .

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